I can’t believe we are now in June, this lock down life seems to make the days zoom by, but as we are slowly starting to come out of lock down in the UK, (myself included woohoo!), this week I thought I’d talk about the future, how can we plan ahead now to create a life that we really love?
As it feels like we are hitting the re-start button on this year, I think we could all do with examining those big life dreams again, with the benefit of a keener, sharper vision of what’s really important.
But first, I want to explain why I believe in the power of visualisation and why it’s not just all fluffy, woo woo stuff.
So, you may remember, last September, myself and friend Clair went to a Vision Board workshop in lovely Knareborough, which was just a few weeks before I first went to the doctors, so I wasn’t aware of my condition or anything then.
The workshop, run by Susanna and Francesca from @writerstogether was brilliant and during the guided meditation before we put together our boards, Francesca said what I had ‘seen’ in my version of the meditation was linked to the word ‘magic’ and that I should try and find a green stoned piece of jewellery or talisman (a kind of lucky charm) to wear.
My board I realised afterwards was the colour palette that I have a lot of in my home, greens, blues and pale pinks, all I think linked to the colours of nature that I capture a lot over on my @soothedbynature account; green trees, blue skies, pink blush clouds at sunset, you get the idea.
These colours feel very restful and calming to me.
After the workshop, I also realised when talking to Clair, that weirdly a few weeks previous I’d sent her and another friend a link to an ideal place for a mini-break, called, wait for it, The Magic Bus – a converted old style bus that has been made into accommodation in Hay-on-Wye, a place I really want to visit.
When I got home, another realisation hit me, the one book I recommend and go on about to any creatives who will listen, is The Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, my favourite book about creativity.
When I put together the board, I went with my gut instinct and only chose images that really ‘spoke’ to me.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year when I was choosing my guiding word, as I always do in January. Normally I choose just one, but this year that didn’t feel right, I felt I needed 3 because I knew by that point my diagnosis, and the year would almost be split into stages, during and after treatment and beyond.
I chose Rise, Re-energise and Surprise, almost as a focus to get through the challenging time ahead. Below are my notes from that brainstorming process, I like to get all my thoughts down on paper, usually in colour, to really work though it in my own head. See below for that process.
This was also a time where, although I knew about my treatment etc, I had no idea about what was to come, in terms of being admitted to hospital for neutropenic sepsis, and the huge life-changing pandemic that was heading our way.
What has struck me recently as we are now heading towards the half-year point is how much is coming true in terms of my vision board and guiding words and it’s kind of blowing my mind a little!
I’ve always believed in visualisation and using guiding words to help drive you forwards, but this is the first time I’ve done a Vision Board and placed it some where visible (as suggested) so that it becomes a ‘working’ board that I refer back to regularly.
There are several key things that now stand out for me on this board, with the benefit of now being in the future:
Then there are the forget-me-knots, a flower I love but one I also associate with the NHS or lost loved ones and the ultimate image of the rainbow in a pair of hands (top right) which I chose to represent that it was all for the taking, BUT how relevant has the rainbow image become now, and in the palm of someone’s caring hands? Now that really made me stop and think and gave me goose-bumps!
So what next?
I’m telling you all this to show you that visualisation can be very powerful and as we head slowly out of lock-down, I think now is an ideal time to create a new vision of the life we want to lead, a new shiny, technicolor version of what we really, truly want our lives to be like.
None of us expected or predicted this situation and whilst it has been horrendous in many ways, it has also given us the universal opportunity of reflection, something we don’t often have the chance to do.
We are now beginning to ask ourselves many questions as each week the landscape changes; Do I want to go back to the 9-5 grind, could I work a different way? Is now the time I should set up that business I’ve always dreamed about, do I want to go back to a life of consumerism or have I learned a simpler way of living is better? Should I make changes to ensure I continue cooking healthier meals and maintain my daily walks in nature? How can we make sure we keep quality family time going, like we did in lock down?
In a way stripping back everything from our ‘normal’ life has given us a bigger, richer life to play with, without us fully realising it and now we need to make some decisions for that realisation not to be wasted and we all just gravitate to the life we had before, because we were stuck on the easy, moseying along route where we didn’t have to stop and consider all this.
Holly Tucker has had an interesting way of looking at it over the past few weeks on her Instagram helping SME’s through this crisis. She refuses to call it the ‘new normal’ going forwards and instead is promoting just the word ‘better’.
She recognises that things will be different, of course they will, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be a better life and time, now we realise the true value of it.
So, I think now really is the time to map out those dreams and plans and go for it. We knew that life was short before, but now it is crystal clear and in the famous words of Elizabeth Gilbert, from The Big Magic:
Speaking of dreams and goals, it is Wow Wednesdays 1st birthday this week! Never did myself, Clair and Miriam who set it up imagine it to take off like it did and keep growing! We now have 36 amazing members who have a wealth of talent and expertise between them.
We couldn’t be prouder of this small but powerful local community group who support each other through all kinds of challenges especially in the current situation! At present we meet via online calls every 2 weeks, but hopefully one day soon, we’ll be able to meet face to face again. Happy Birthday Wow Team! For further info see the Wow Wednesday page.
I hope this encourages you to dream big, you just never know what might happen when you visualise it happening.
I think my next vision board will include pics of long, luscious hair styles….I could really do with some magic hair growth, so I’ll try anything right now!
Until next time…thanks to Boris, I’ll now be walking a bit further and taking in the beautiful countryside views like in the main picture and increasing my fitness to create the stamina for my big dream plans! Take care everyone…
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
P.s I found a piece of green sea glass on the beach in Conwy on our last holiday in August that I’m trying to get made into some jewellery but I did also receive some green quartz earrings from my creative writing teacher whilst on treatment!